The Shape of Water (2017)

The Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Hewlett
Seen on: 15.2.2018
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Plot:
Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works as a cleaning lady in a big research facility. That facility has recently become the home, or rather prison, of a mysterious sea creature (Doug Jones) that the scientists want to study and exploit. Elisa discovers the creature by chance, but she quickly becomes friends with him, teaching him sign language. But the facility, and above all Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon) have plans for the creature – and they are not necessarily humane.

I liked The Shape of Water in many things, but I found its treatment of disability absolutely problematic – and that soured things considerably for me. I still ended up finding it mostly sweet, but it should have been better about that.

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Haunter (2013)

Haunter
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writer: Brian King
Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, David Hewlett, Michelle Nolden, Peter Outerbridge, Peter DaCunha, Eleanor Zichy
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
On the surface Lisa (Abigail Breslin) has a normal life with her parents (Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden) and her brother (Peter DaCunha). But actually they all died years ago and have been reliving the same Sunday ever since. Only Lisa finally woke up and noticed the repetition. And with that, shadows start to appear, voices can be heard and things become more and more off. And through all that, Lisa finds a connection to other girls.

Haunter wasn’t always perfectly logical but I thought that the concept was interesting, the movie atmospheric and I was generally entertained.

Haunter

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The Whistleblower (2010)

The Whistleblower
Director: Larysa Kondracki
Writer: Larysa Kondracki, Eilis Kirwan
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Roxana Condurache, Paula Schramm, Alexandru Potocean, Jeanette Hain, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Hewlett, Luke Treadaway, Liam Cunningham

[Trigger Warning]

Plot:
Kathryn (Rachel Weisz) is a cop who lives for her job. That even cost her her marriage and the custody of her daughter. Now her ex-husband is moving away and Kathryn can’t get a transfer to move after her daughter. So she takes up an offer to go to Bosnia and work for the UN there (through a private contractor). What at first was only supposed to be a way to get a lot of cash fast, turns into much more when Kathryn realizes that there is a lot of sex trafficking going on – and that the people she works with are deeply involved.

The Whistleblower is a hard film. It’s the kind of film that makes you want to not live in this world. It’s excellently made and depressing as hell, especially since it is based on a true story and only has a semi-positive ending. But I do think it is important that you watch it. Just bring chocolate and friends and rainbows.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the prequel to Planet of the Apes. It was directed by Rupert Wyatt, written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and stars James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, Tyler Labine, David Hewlett and Ty Olsson.

Plot:
Will (James Franco) is trying to develop a new drug that is supposed to combat Alzheimer’s. They are testing them on apes already and seeing good results. But right when they’re trying to take this a step further, something goes terribly wrong and Bright Eyes – they’re most successful ape – attacks her caretaker Robert (Tyler Labine). So the experiment is shelved. But Bright Eyes only freaked out because she had a baby – Caesar (Andy Serkis). Will takes Caesar in and soon discovers that he shows extraordinary mental faculties. And since Will’s father Charles (John Lightgow) suffers from Alzheimer himself, Will decides that he will continue the testing quite illegally.

I expected Rise of the Planet of the Apes to suck very hard. But I was pleasantly surprised by it – the performances are excellent, the script didn’t suck most of the time and the CGI was pretty good. Apart from a few moments where they just lost me, I really enjoyed myself.

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